Cleantech Open Innovation Expo and Awards Gala

The Innovation Expo and Awards Gala is the best opportunity to celebrate cleantech entrepreneurship, meet cutting-edge startups from around the northeast, network with cleantech investors, mentors and professionals, and listen to pitches from the top 8 startups. clean tech open

When: Tuesday, October 28 | 4pm – 9:30pm
Where: Boston School of Management – Boston University | Boston MA
Cost: $30

Event Agenda:

  • 4:00pm – 9:30pm | Innovation Showcase (on-going)
  • 4:30pm – 6:30pm | 10-minute Live Pitches (Regional Final Judging Round)
  • 7:00pm – 9:30pm | Awards Ceremony & Networking Reception


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CI – Backed Cloud Security Company Sold for $233M

British defense and security giant BAE Systems claims it will pay $232.5 million in order to acquire Milford cloud security provider SilverSky, a company  that has received support from Connecticut Innovations.

CI participated in a $4 million investment round in SilverSky in 2000, according to Crunchbase, which said the company has raised $108 million total.

SilverSky said it has more than 5,500 customers across a wide array of industries including but not limited to retail, healthcare, and financial.

The acquisition is intended to grow the cyber security business, according to BAE Systems.

Details on any returns CI will receive as a result of it’s investment are not currently available.

Read More from the Hartford Business Journal

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Canaan Partners Raises $675 Million

Menlo Park, CA – October 16, 2014  – Canaan Partners, a multi-billion dollar venture capital firm, today announced that it has raised $675 million in commitments for Canaan X. Canaan Partners’ tenth fund brings the total capital under management to over $4.2 billion. Fund X follows a banner year at Canaan with a dozen liquidity events in the past twelve months.

Canaan’s recent exits include innovators in ecommerce, big data, cloud-based software, biopharmaceuticals and medical devices such as Ebates (acquired by Rakuten for $1 billion), Labrys Biologics (acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical for up to $825 million), Civitas Therapeutics (pending acquisition by Acorda Therapeutics for $525 million), Dermira (NASDAQ: DERM), Durata Therapeutics (pending acquisition by Actavis for up to $800M), Skybox Imaging (acquired by Google for $500 million), Metacloud (acquired by Cisco) and Israel-based PrimeSense (acquired by Apple).

“We’ve had a very exciting year with portfolio exits at Canaan, and we raised Fund X in record time,” noted Maha Ibrahim, general partner of Canaan. “Our strategy for Canaan X will be similar to the proven diversified sector strategy we’ve used for almost three decades, with two-thirds of Fund X dedicated to information technology and one-third to healthcare. Also, we will continue to invest primarily in early stage and seed stage startups, the latter of which represents twenty-five percent of our portfolio.”  Canaan’s selective seed program has resulted in the founding of Advanced BioHealing (acquired by Shire for $750 million), Cardlytics (innovators of card-linked marketing), Kabam (which recently secured a $120 million investment from Alibaba) and Virsto Software (acquired by VMware).

“Our recent exits and portfolio reflect the exceptional entrepreneurs we back,” noted Wende Hutton, general partner. “We are especially proud of Canaan’s success in funding female entrepreneurs, and immigrant entrepreneurs who have co-founded over 20 percent of our portfolio companies. Regarding our success with women, we have six female investment professionals at Canaan; 12 of our portfolio companies have women CEOs; and 22 of our portfolio companies were co-founded by women. This is a much higher share than in the VC industry as a whole, where only 7 percent of investments go to female entrepreneurs.”

In concert with the announcement of Canaan X, the firm announced the promotions of the following investors: Tim Shannon to general partner; Hrach Simonian to venture partner; and Brendan Dickinson, Julie Papanek and Roseanne Wincek to principal.

With Fund X, Canaan Partners will focus on finding future leaders in fintech, travel, big data, cloud, enterprise, SaaS, and consumer internet.  Canaan’s current technology investments include Kabam, Lending Club, onefinestay, SOASTA, The RealReal and Zoosk.

Through Fund X, Canaan Partners will continue to invest in biopharmaceutical, medtech and Healthcare IT companies, particularly those addressing healthcare infrastructure. Canaan’s current healthcare investments include Arvinas, Chrono Therapeutics, CytomX, Liquidia, Spinifex and Truveris.

About Canaan Partners:
For nearly 30 years, Canaan Partners has been investing in entrepreneurs with visionary ideas to improve the way we live our lives.  With over $4.2 billion under management and more than 160 exits to date, Canaan has funded some of the world’s most innovative companies in both technology and healthcare. Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, Canaan also has offices in New York City and Westport, Connecticut.   For more information, visit us at and follow us on Twitter @canaanpartners.

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Angel Group Valuations Continue Three-Quarter Climb

HALO Report – Quarter two

The Halo Report research series highlights angel investment activity and trends in North America. It is a collaborative effort designed to raise awareness of early-stage investment activities by angel investors in groups and provides unique insights previously unavailable to entrepreneurs or early-stage investors.

The Quarter Two 2014 Halo Report reveals Angel Group round sizes have increased by $1 Million for healthcare companies. View the report below for more details:

Quarter Two Highlights: 

  • Investor Syndicates Produce Bigger Rounds

  • Median angel round sizes were down from $990K to $600K, which is consistent with the second quarter a year ago.

  • Valuations Continue to Rise

  • Median pre-money valuations rose to $3.0 million, from $2.7 million in Q1 2014, and after several steady quarters at $2.5 million.

  • In Q2 2014, the most active angel groups based on total completed deals were (alphabetic order): Alliance of Angels, Central Texas Angel Network, Desert Angels, Golden Seeds, Houston Angel Network, Launchpad Venture Group, Maine Angels and Tech Coast Angels.

  • Angel groups in Texas closed 12% of all deals in Q2, following New England with 16% and California with 19% rounding out the top three regions. The Mid-Atlantic region dominated the share of dollars invested, accounting for 23% of all US angel investments in the quarter, including four syndicated deals over $10 million. California, New England, Texas and the Mid-Atlantic increased the number of deals and the dollars invested while angel groups in the Southeast and the Great Lakes region did fewer deals and invested less than during the prior quarter.

  • Software Companies Secure More Angel Investment

  • Together, Internet, healthcare and mobile companies received 73.3% of all angel group dollars, and software companies received 11% of all investments – a ten point jump over the prior two quarters. Healthcare and Internet companies were the most likely to close a deal, consistent with the prior quarter, while mobile deals decreased slightly.


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Update on Accredited Investor Definition

Update on accredited investor definition – advisory committee approves recommendations, SEC itself hasn’t acted!

Just last week the Investor Advisory Commitee to the SEC approved several high level recommendations on the accredited investor definition. While the SEC itself has yet to act on any recommendations and there are no new rules at this present time that changes who can be an accredited investor, the process is being monitored closely and opinions of angels and other investors are being weighed heavily.

At the present time it seems as though changes are months or even years away, furthermore it is still possible that no change will occur at all.

The following are some encouraging themes highlighted from the advisory committee discussion:

  • Interest in expanding the accredited investor class and not contracting it from the committee.
  • Barbara Roper and others spoke favorably about angel investors and angel groups that use best practices (opinion implied from list of groups that fit into ACA’s new “Established Angel Group” certification program.)
  • The input of angels clearly has an impact on the committee.

To download the full list of recommendations – click here. Stayed tuned for a Q&A webinar scheduled for November 5.

Read the full Angel Insights Blog written by Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director.

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Cleantech Open | 2014 Global Forum

The Cleantech event of the year is being hosted in San Francisco! This is an event like no other, the 2014 Cleantech Open Global Forum promises to be bigger and better than ever! Set in the heart of San Francisco this event brings together the best-of-the-best cleantech entrepreneurs and alumni companies from the U.S and abroad. open forum

Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t miss this event: You’ll build your cleantech network, the expo will feature more than 120 cleantech startups, hear from world class speakers and keynoters, valuable networking over appetizers and cocktails!

When: November 12-13
Where: San Francisco CA
Cost: $225 (early bird pricing ends October 31)

Learn More | Register Now

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October 2014 | Tech Transfer Recap

October’s Second Thursday Event, Technology Transfer, met on October 9 at the UConn Health Center. October’s topic, which focused on investor perspectives of industry changes developed at Yale and UConn, drew a crowd of over 50 CVG members and friends to the Patterson Auditorium. Pitches presented by student entrepreneurs from both Yale and UConn helped kick off the program.15311077240_60342319e3_k (1)

Pitch Highlights:

Ancera Ancera is in the business of rapid cell separation and pathogen diagnostics. The products use label- and labor-free methods to provide low-cost, high-throughput separation and pathogen diagnostics in under 10 minutes. Ancera has achieved 3 million in seed funding, has 11 members working on improving the prodcuts and is currently being supported by Connecticut Innovations and other early investors. 

109Design – 109Design has developed a device and application to improve the treatment of scoliosis. Immediate feedback from the wearers brace to a device helps parents, kids, doctors and other concerned parties monitor the wearers health. This allows doctors and parents to see how long and how tightly a brace is worn thus improving feedback to the wearer.

Dura Biotech – Through the production of a low profile, minimally invasive transcatheter aortic heart valve, Dura Biotech is changing the heart valve market. Currently, Dura Biotech is on track to begin first seed round funding in 2015.

Haptitude SDK – Haptitude SDK software development kit is a platform that introduces the sense of touch into computer programming. This simplifies programming for researches, innovators and developers. The three major elements of Haptitude SDK are SDK proprietary applications, SDK web which includes forums and tutorials, and the community richly involved in the success of Haptitude SDK.

Panelists Presentation: A presentation on the changes and adaptation to tech transfer through the labs of both UConn and Yale University, were discussed by Rita Zangari, Executive Director of TIP, and Christopher Loose, Executive Director of CBIT. Rita noted that UConn is focusing on setting entrepreneurs up with funding and is no longer restricting students to a university funded or supported company. She said that UConn operates out of one fund and the goal of said fund is to support all entrepreneurs regardless of their affiliation with the university. According to Christopher Loose, Yales’s CBIT program encourages clinicians to submit medical device design ideas, 25 were submit this past year. Currently the program is engaging potential mentors with the hope that they will give feedback to students working through YEI.

Thank you again to our event chairs, Nat Brinn and Frank Milone for helping us plan and execute a successful Second Thursday Presentation!

Congratulations to Gloria Kolb, winner of this month’s drawing of our Innovation Summit Ticket Giveaway! We hope you noticed the Innovation Summit Ticket Giveaway bucket at the event, drop your business card in the bucket and you could win two tickets to the Innovation Summit! We draw a winner after every Second Thursday Event! 


View event photos | View event video

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September 2014 | Social Media & Mobile Tech Recap

September’s Second Thursday event, Social Media and Mobile Technology, met in Stamford at the UConn Stamford Campus on September 11th. Over 50 attendees, including early stage companies, service providers, and investors were able to connect on issues and opportunities related to social media and mobile tech. A diverse group of 10 companies presented in front of an audience of investors and business experts.

Pitch Highlights:

Mingl - presented by Oji. Mingl is an evolution of networking. It is a mobile app that is able to connect people based on common interest during events. The application is able to connect with existing social/professional network platforms (e.g., LinkedIn) to ensure that brief connections are turned into lasting networks. See Mingl’s Pitch

Activate Brain & Body - presented by Martin Pazzani. Activate Brain & Body aims to improve the quality of life for an aging population by leveraging technologies that can quantify performance factors. The quantified data serves as a basis to develop personalized health fitness programs that can be implemented and navigated by health practitioners and coaches, in order to to slow the progressive decline in body and brain performance suffered by elderly populations. See Activate Brain & Body’s Pitch

AdapTac Games - presented by Candice M. Hughes, PhD MBA. AdapTac Games aims to provide people who struggle with ADHD with a health gaming alternative. The mobile racing game rewards organization and attention. The objectives: Plan, Collect, and Race. See AdapTacGames Pitch

CoPilot Family – presented by Spring Hollis. Co-Pilot Family allows parents to protect their children against inappropriate content and media. Copilot doesn’t replace parents, but it does provide them with a tool to help navigate the world of smart devices. Copilot can be customized to the circumstances of each family. See CoPilot Family Pitch

Electric Compass - presented by Michael Forbes. Electric Compass (EC) provides a range of packages and technologies that support company in tracking assets and operators. The company has a proven track record in working with businesses to develop business specific enterprise applications, mobile apps, and basic vehicle GPS tracking systems, improving the efficiency of operations for its customers. See Electric Compass Pitch

Fanum - presented by Eric Lum. Fanum is today, what MTV was in the 80′s. Fanum brings industry movers and “tastemakers” into the spotlight. The platform creates a social movement around these experienced tastemakers, whereby they serve to influence and announce upcoming music trends and artists. The company adds prestige to the already recognized tastemakers, while collecting significant specialty data that is commonly sought out by entertainment agencies and businesses. See Fanum Pitch

MaxExposure Social Media - presented by Joe Grushkin. MaxExposure takes SEO to the next level. The company has developed a patent-pending Social Media Analysis Process, which provides business owners with a definitive ‘grade’ on the effectiveness of their social media, based on industry standards. Social media management, competition monitoring, analytics, and continuous traction building are delivered to increase visibility and sales. See MaxExposure Social Media Pitch

MEA Mobile - presented by Bruce Seymour. MEA Mobile is composed of a super-star team of developers and serial business leaders. MEA Mobile is a mobile software development company that works with companies to build next-generation mobile apps. MEA Mobile has also developed an extensive internal portfolio of successful mobile apps.

Milnaa - presented by Steve Chainani. Milnaa is a social network platform for India. The platform has intranet/extranet capabilities for enterprises, while not losing the personal touch of a fun social network. Milnaa aims to build internal and external connections for India’s banks, local governments, and other enterprises.

MyBeanJar – presented by Terry Kavanagh. From Marvel Comics to MyBeanJar, Terry and Co-founder David Chodosh have changed the landscape for gaming revenue streams. MyBeanJar is a fun and entertaining gaming system that rewards consumers with high end coupons. It’s a win-win-win game for consumers, companies with coupons to give, and MyBeanJar.

Keynote Presentation: SocialFlys Co-Founders Stephanie Abrams (CEO) and Courtney Spritzer (COO) Stephanie and Courtney presented an in-depth analysis on social media trends, and strategies that businesses can use to gain traction (retweets, likes, etc.) on social media platforms. SocialFly manages social media content for a broad range of industries that are looking to increase visibility, and business. At the conclusion of the keynote presentation the entrepreneurs, investors, and other attendees proceeded to the exhibition and networking area for food, beverages, and discussion. The pitching companies received a great deal of feedback and were able to make valuable connections. Overall, great pitches, great presentation, and great fun! Thank you to our event chairs, Bruce Blasnik and David Schaffer, for helping plan and execute a successful Second Thursday Presentation. See SocialFly’s Keynote Presentation

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Q2 MoneyTree Report – Investments in CT

MoneyTree Report by Pricewaterhousecoopers

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UKS VC Capital Report | Post Season Report 2014

Headlining this issue: Angel Investor Tax Forum Extended – The angel investor tax credit program provides personal income tax credits for people investing at least $25,000 in startup, technology-based Connecticut businesses approved for credit-eligible investments. The program is administered by Connecticut Innovations, the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for growing Connecticut businesses through innovative financing and strategic assistance.

In this VC Capital Report:

UKS venture capital report

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